6N: No massive fixes needed for sliding England, says Jones

England's players react after Ireland scored a third try during the Six Nations rugby union match between England and Ireland at Twickenham stadium in London, Saturday, March 17, 2018. (AP Photo/Tim Ireland)

LONDON — From defending two-time champion to fifth place, England on Saturday achieved its worst Six Nations finish in 35 years.

But coach Eddie Jones didn't believe there was much to repair after his side failed to stop Ireland adding the Grand Slam to the championship they won the week before.

"There is nothing that stands out that we massively need to fix," Jones said after England lost 24-15 at Twickenham.

A team of seven changes, after losing to France last weekend, gave a better performance, especially in conceding only three rucks and seven turnovers, but England was still not good enough to topple the new champions.

And they were out of it by halftime, when Ireland led 21-5 from three converted tries.

England's first home loss in the championship since 2012 consigned it to a third straight defeat in the competition for the first time since 2006.

Jones wasn't convinced England is regressing.

"I don't think we have. In terms of results we have, but in terms of where we want to go as a team, we are moving forward," he said. "I know that is hard to see.

"You have these runs, and sometimes you get out of it quick and other times longer. At the moment, it's got to three games, it's not nice, but it is part of the process of being a better team.

"We learnt a lot about the team in this championship and how we need to develop our game, which is important. So as disappointing as it is, it's part of being a better team.

"Every team I have had that has been a champion team has had these runs and they are instrumental in how you remake a team," said Jones.

"When you take over it is reasonably easy, like I did with England, to improve a team quickly because you fix things that need fixing quickly.

"But internal mechanisms take time to fix and that is the slow-burner. Unless you fix them, they catch up with you when you get to the big tournaments such as the World Cup."

Before consecutive losses to Scotland, France and Ireland, England had won 24 out of 25 tests.

That was forgotten, though, when Jones was interviewed on the field after the match and booed by fans at home for the first time.

"I didn't hear it," Jones said, then quipped: "Have you got a recording of it? I'll listen to it later, it'll put me to sleep tonight."

England next gathers to play the Barbarians on May 27 to warm up for a three-test tour of South Africa in June.

"If we were to go out there and win a series then it would definitely be a foot back in the right direction after taking a bit of a hit," England wing Jonny May said.

"We have a lot of rebuilding to do because three in a row isn't good enough. You can't forget what we have done and what we can be, but we have to start from the bottom up again. We're not back at square one but we've definitely taken a dip.

"With that comes an opportunity to focus and learn and get better. This team is still going to get better, but we were flying high and it's going to take some hard work and a run of good games to get back to where we need to be before the World Cup (next year in Japan)."

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